Delia and the Drifter Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Delia and the Drifter

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Historical Romance (Western)

Release date: February 15, 2021

An arranged marriage to save the family from ruin?

Delia Blackstone knows what her mother is up to—she intends to marry her off to an older man who is all fortune and no future. And Delia’s having none of it.

When a mysterious visitor appears on the family doorstep and offers an opportunity for Delia to travel from Pennsylvania to Colorado, Delia knows it is time for her to strike out on her own and discover a new life. Along the way she encounters a handsome drifter who captures her heart. But is he interested in trading his exciting life of adventure for love?

Two murders, a missing will, and a number of puzzling relationships are enough to unsettle anyone—even smart, capable Delia. Who can she trust? And can she trust her heart in matters of love?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

Delia and the Drifter was an interesting books because it felt like I was reading two stories. The first half of the book deals with Delia leaving behind her family to go to Colorado, and the second half deals with her time after she arrives in Colorado. I’m honestly not sure how much to share because there are certain things that could potentially be spoilers, especially the reason for her going to Colorado. But I did enjoy the plot, and even though I had my suspicions about certain people that ended up being correct, I was still impressed with how the author pulled off the reasoning behind their actions. 

I loved getting to know Delia, even though we are reminded often that she is not like other girls, which for the time period that this novel is set in, that’s true. I loved her tenacity and stubbornness and her humility and willingness to get her hands dirty. I also enjoyed getting to know Wyatt, the drifter that Delia meets on her journey to Colorado and how he wants to look out for her, I do wish we could have had him in the story a lot more. And then there is Delia’s family in Pennsylvania, who are just awful to her! They exploit her and make fun of her and look down on her because she dared to get an education. There are also the people she meets in Colorado, which I won’t get into because I think it will lessen the experience of being introduced to them all. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Delia and the Drifter and I am looking forward to reading more of Melody Carlson’s historical works!

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

I love historical stories about women. Particularly ones in the American frontier and old west. Probably because I grew up hearing pioneer stories from my grandparents, whose parents arrived in covered wagons. But contributions made by pioneering females is often overshadowed by their male counterparts. That’s why I enjoy researching and telling these fictional yet reality-based stories of women who lived and loved and did their part to settle the frontier. To me they are the unsung heroes of the West.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, February 24

lakesidelivingsite, February 24

For Him and My Family, February 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 25

Blogging With Carol, February 25

She Lives To Read, February 26

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

Pause for Tales, February 26

Inklings and notions, February 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 28

CarpeDiem, February 28

Betti Mace, March 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 1

Artistic Nobody, March 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 2

Simple Harvest Reads, March 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 3

Older & Smarter?, March 4

Connie’s History Classroom, March 4

Christian Bookaholic, March 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Labor Not in Vain, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 7

Connect in Fiction, March 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 8

Splashes of Joy, March 8

Hallie Reads, March 8

Batya’s Bits, March 9

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 9



To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

First Line Fridays #41 – Girl Code by Andrea Gonzales and Sophia Houser

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

Girl Code by Andrea Gonzales and Sophia Houser

“I stared at the pages in front of me: an outline of the presentation I had to give to my eleventh-grade English class in twelve hours.”

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Recent Reads Vol. 1

Recently I decided to do something a little bit different from what I’ve been doing when it comes to talking about the books I’ve been reading. I want to do a combination of a wrap-up with the mini-review posts I’ve been doing, the only problem is that I have been reading a lot so far this year and to do a monthly wrap-up would be really long, and I want to do something a little bit shorter than that.

Some of the BookTubers I follow have been doing Recent Reads videos in which they recap a selection of books they have read however long they decide to do it instead of monthly wrap-ups (Hailey in Bookland is the main one who comes to mind). I’m still trying to figure out how I want to do this, but if any of you have any suggestions of how I can improve these recent reads posts, please let me know! I think my plan is to post one of these every time I read five books (or more).

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy is a book that I have wanted to read for a very long time, at least two year ago when I first discovered it’s existence. The thought of this book made me want to reread Anne of Green Gables and watch the movies again. I was a little bit worried going into this because it does have mixed reviews on GoodReads, but I fell in love with this story. As the title suggests, this follows Marilla Cuthbert starting in her teens and following her as she grows up and also explores a little bit of what happened between her and John Blythe. There was a surprising theme that factored into the story that made it more interesting and added a different dimension to the story that I never really thought about. I’m still deciding whether or not to write a longer review because I really did enjoy it and have a lot more thoughts I would like to share.

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Despite the fact that I have a pile of library books that need to be read, I decided to jump right into Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery which I fell in love with once more. This time while reading it I could definitely see more of the ways that I am like Anne (when my husband and I watched the movie, he pointed out several times how much like her I am sometimes). I love her imagination and her optimism, and reading about the different scrapes she gets into. I enjoyed revisiting Prince Edward Island and, more specifically, Avonlea and getting to know the inhabitants of that town. I loved watching Anne grow up over the span of five years and all the different events that happen in her life that shape her. Every time I reread these books I wished I had more of imagination, and in some ways makes me long for a simpler time, although I know that things weren’t necessarily rosy during the time period that it takes place in. It also made me want to binge-read the whole series.

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But before I moved on to the next book in the Anne series, I picked up The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate which I had just checked out from the library. It is the sequel to The One and Only Ivan, except this time we are following Ivan’s friend, Bob, who is a dog. The story takes place just as a hurricane is about to hit the area in which Bob, Ivan, and Ruby live, and tragedy strikes. Through the series of events that take place in the novel, Bob is forced to confront his past and learn about forgiveness. I flew through this book, and although not as good as it’s predecessor, it is still a great follow-up to it.


At this point I was itching to start Anne of Avonlea, but another one of my library books was also vying for my attention. Before I moved on to a book I own, I decided I needed to read at least one more library book, especially one that has several other people waiting to read it. So I picked up When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole, which is a thriller set in a neighborhood in Brooklyn, which falls subject to gentrification, but the speed and ways at which it is happening is suspicious to Sydney, who grew up in that community. A bunch of different things happen that lead her to believe that something about how her neighbors are quickly leaving the neighborhood seems sinister and she is on a mission to find out what it is. I thought this was okay, I felt like some of the main thriller aspects of the novel were saved for the last 30-40 pages and as a result the climax and conclusion seemed rushed. There is a lot of commentary on racism and redlining in certain communities. I will also add a caution that there is some bad language used, and there is a sex scene (sorry for the spoiler) in it, so if those are things you try to avoid, I wouldn’t pick this one up.


After the wild ride that was When No One is Watching, I decided that it would be the perfect time to pay a visit to Anne and the village of Avonlea and picked up Anne of Avonlea. I’ll admit that I had forgotten chunks of this installment in the series, partly because it has been a while since I’ve read this (my junior year of high school), and because the movie is a combination of this and the next two books in the series. I loved revisiting Anne and watching her as the new school teacher at the Avonlea school, and her growing friendship with Gilbert Blythe. Also, I loved the new characters we are introduced to: Davy and Dora, the twins that Marilla adopts; Mr. Harrison; and Miss Lavendar. We get to watch Anne grow and mature from the ages of 16 to 18, but how she still manages to get into a few scrapes. There are some great conversations in this book, especially between Anne and Mrs. Allen, where the latter tells her that love doesn’t often come in the form of dashing knights, but sometimes blossoms from friendship. Also, I loved some of Davy’s stories and questions that he has for both Anne and Marilla even though it exasperates them both. The ending is fantastic, and serves as a catalyst for a slow burn romance of sorts. But I highly recommend the Anne series for anyone who wants some cheering up, especially in the midst of what seems like a long, dark winter.


Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

The Workout Diaries – Week 2

Photo by Pixabay on

Here we are at week 2 of working out. This week was a pretty good week, but it had a couple of challenges that I wasn’t expecting. Since our elliptical is still out of commission, I still followed along to this video:

I had intended to set some milestones I want to accomplish during my journey to get in shape, but since some of them involve the elliptical I wanted to wait until it was fixed to do so. The main goal I had this week was to decrease the number of breaks I took during my workouts.

Day 6 – Monday, February 15th.

Yesterday I definitely felt pretty energetic, but I decided to still keep it as a rest day because I felt like it was important to do that. This morning, I was less enthusiastic about working out, mainly because I had a hard time getting to sleep. But I still worked out. I followed the Body Coach video I started doing last week. It was a little harder than I expected it to be, but it makes sense since my body is still getting used to being worked out. I did have to take three breaks during the video, again, my goal is to eventually make it through the video without having to take a break. After resting for a few minutes, I do feel better and I feel less lethargic than I did before I started. One thing I will say, is that I do sleep better on the days that I do workout, which is good!

Day 7 – Tuesday, February 16th.

Alright, so I thought yesterday was hard…but today was worse, but I still made it through! This morning I definitely felt a little more sluggish, and also I felt like my routine went a little bit haywire because my husband worked from today. But that is more my fault in believing everything about my routine needs to change when he is home, rather I can try to keep it, but also make slight adjustments instead of throwing it completely out the window. By the way, I do love having my husband at home during the day, I wish it could be more often. I also didn’t sleep well last night, but I think it was due to drinking coffee later in the afternoon – which I need to stop doing, and also worrying about whether or not my husband would have to brave the snowstorm to go to work…it also didn’t help that our hockey team lost their game last night. Anyway, I did the same HIIT workout routine that I’ve been doing, and I really enjoy it, although my thighs and lower back felt trashed afterwards, which is a little alarming, but I also don’t know if that is just due to those muscles getting used to being worked again. I did have to take three breaks again, my goal by the end of the week is to be able to make it through the video and only having to take one break…we shall see what happens. I’m also thinking maybe I need to try and do the Superman Squeeze tomorrow instead of the squats I’ve been using as a substitute and see if that helps a little bit more. But I will say, I’m really enjoying the energy I have after working out, before I would be lethargic throughout the whole day, which was awful.

Day 8 – Wednesday, February 17th

Today it took me a little bit to get going. I just felt sluggish, and I even debated whether to skip working out today or not. Part of it is that I woke up congested – which has been happening a lot to me lately, partly because of the changes in weather and air pressure we’ve been experiencing in Ohio. However, I also know that if I did that, I would probably decide not workout tomorrow and Friday. Also, I think I’ve decided that I need to try not to skip workouts unless I am really, really sick (in other words I’m unable to get out of bed or have a stomach bug). Anyway, all that to say is that I did end up working out, I just got a later start than usual. Again, I followed the 16 Minute HIIT workout, and I was expecting to have to take a lot more breaks than even yesterday. Surprisingly, I only had to take one break after 10 minutes and that was right after I did the squats that I’ve been doing as a replacement for the Superman Squeeze. I felt pretty good after my workout and also felt like I could’ve done a little bit more…so maybe tomorrow I will try out a longer low-impact HIIT workout tomorrow, we shall see!

Day 9 – Thursday, February 18th

Today was a rough start. I didn’t want to get out of bed and I didn’t want to workout. However, I did get out of bed because I wanted to spend some time with my husband before he left for work this morning. And, I did workout, because again, I knew if I didn’t do it I would make excuses not to do it tomorrow. Yesterday I had thought about doing a different routine, but since I was feeling kind of icky, I decided it would be best to just stick with following along with the video I have been doing. I will admit that I felt like I moved at a more sluggish pace than yesterday, but I think that’s okay, it’s better than not doing anything at all! But I’m not going to lie, even though I say that I do beat myself up over it. One positive from my workout is that I only had to take one break again kind of in the middle of the routine, which is good, just a couple days ago I was taking three breaks. And tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to improve. Something that I started doing yesterday was start working on what I eat, however, I this is an aspect that scares me a bit because in the past I have been too restrictive when it comes to food. And even yesterday, when it was about time for lunch, I found myself slipping into that mindset. There is nothing wrong with portion control and eating healthier things, but being so restrictive when I starve myself and/or skip meals is not a good mindset to have and that is what I want to avoid.

Day 10 – Friday, February 19th

Last night was awful, I was pretty nauseous and had to get into bed early because the only thing that seemed to help alleviate it – thankfully, I do know what caused it (No, I’m not pregnant). As a result, I still felt pretty fatigued this morning, but I still decided I needed to workout, even if it meant going at a slower pace, which I did! I worked out along with HIIT workout, adapting the couple of exercises that I have been adapting since I started doing this particular routine, I just switched some things around, mainly I saved doing squats to the end. I definitely felt weaker today during my workout, but at least I worked out, at least that’s one thing I am trying to remind myself instead of beating myself up. Also, I only had to take one break during my workout, which is still good! The one weird thing that happened was that near the end of working out I got the hiccups, it was an interesting experience, and I’m glad it happened near the end and not in the beginning or middle of my workout. But I feel pretty good, in fact I feel a lot less fatigued than I did pre-workout.

Overall, it was decent week of working out. Next week, I want to be able to make it through the workout without taking break, I would also like to increase the time of my workout to 20 minutes. There is a possibility that the elliptical will be fixed, if that is the case, my plan is to workout on the elliptical on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then do a HIIT workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I do also want to try a different HIIT workout that is still low-impact and easy on the knees, eventually I want to be able to mix and match different exercises.

Janelle L. C.

Video Game Review: Gris

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is kind of a different review. Last semester I took a class where I had to develop a mini-collection of 40 items and reviews for them. In the collection I had to include 3 games, and I decided to review Gris. However, I love this game so much I decided to share what I wrote in my review here!


Gris is a gorgeous platform-adventure game that is perfect for novice gamers. The premise of the game is that we are introduced to Gris, a young girl sitting in the palm of the hand of a giant statue. She tries to sing to the statue byt can’t and the statue starts to crumble and she falls down to the ground. She then has to navigate through a desolate world, where she is the only human. In each chapter, players will have to collect a number stars throughout the chapter, as well as complete the chapter. Each chapter also introduces a new color into the world of the game: the first chapter is a pallet of black, white and gray, chapter 2 introduces red, then green, then blue and finally yellow. Along the way Gris must face some dark creatures.

As mentioned before, Gris is a gorgeous yet simple game full of meaning. Some reviewers and players ahve said that Gris is essentially a game where each chapter represents one of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depressions and, ultimately the goal of the game, acceptance. Others have also said that it is a depcition of what it is like working through the cycles of depression.

The art style is simple, but gorgeous and atmospheric. The music is also simple, most of it done on the piano, with segments of silence. It is reminiscent of some of the score from Avatar: The Last Airbender. As more creeatures are introduced we do get more nature sounds, and Chapter 4 includes a layer of violin music in the score.

Game play is very simple, however there are very few instructions or directions given, except for a brief second in each chapter when a new move is introduced. This can cause some difficulty at first.

Overall, Gris is fantastic! While it might be a basic platform game, the visuals, the music and the stroy are absolutely gorgeous. This game is perfect for novice gamers because there are not a lot of moves/techniques to learn, and that ones that are needed are introduced gradually throughout the game.

If you are interested in seeing some of the artwork from Gris, I highy recommend watching the game trailer!

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

The Workout Diaries Week 1

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

One of my goals this year was to get in shape. In all honesty, once lockdown happened last year, I kind of became a couch potato and any level fitness I had diminished to the point where even going to the grocery store would feel like I had just completed a marathon – wearing a mask didn’t help either, but it was only a minor complication compared to how out of shape I was.

Sure, I’d tried several times to start getting in shape, but I kept coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise. We even bought a used elliptical, but then we started having some issues with it – the one wheel came off the track every so often, and we tried several different things to fix it and make sure it didn’t happen again. Our solutions seemed to work, very briefly and then it happened again. And, as you’re probably guessed, I used that as an excuse not to workout.

January 1st came around and I wrote down that getting fit was one of my goals…but of course I didn’t do anything, sure I tried playing Just Dance to see if that would help…which I soon neglected. But during the first week of February I decided I needed to stop making excuses and start working out. My plan was to use the elliptical five days a week, however, you’ll see that on the second day of working out the wheel came of the track near the end of my work out (and I can’t get it back on by myself…I’ve tried), so that left me with trying to figure out a new workout routine until we got it sorted out.

So, here is a log of my journey to get more in shape…you’ll notice I don’t say lose weight. Yes, I need to lose weight, but I really don’t want that to be my main focus for working out because in the past when I tend to give up more easily if I am not where I think I need to be, and also, I have had a bad relationship with food in the past, as well as experience with disordered eating, and I don’t want to fall into that trap again because it isn’t healthy! I’m hoping that by making fitness the goal that I can stick to a workout routine more easily, and who knows, I might lose weight in the process, but that is only a secondary goal.

My goals for the first month was to do a mile on the elliptical, 5 days a week. If I was able to do that in under 15 minutes then my goal was to try and workout for 15 minutes on the elliptical.

Day 1 – Monday, February 8th.

I got on the elliptical, and started feeling it in my legs and arms after about a minute. I had to take breaks every so often for water and just to rest a little. However, I did manage to use the arms for most of my workout, which is good! I also watched a Youtube video while I worked out and it seemed to help me no fixate on the numbers of the timer. Overall, I did one mile in 15 minutes and 30 seconds, which isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. My legs felt like lead when I got off, but only for about 30 minutes and I was fine. I actually felt like I had a lot more energy for the first time in weeks. However, I did have some pain in my upper arms later in the evening, and it took me a while to figure out why. It wasn’t bad, but I did take some ibuprofen so that it didn’t keep me up.

Day 2 – Tuesday, February 9th.

Woke up with very little pain from my workout the day before. I found that I was actually looking forward to getting on the elliptical again! However, that soon dissipated once I got on because my legs felt like trash as soon as I started. I found I had to take a few more breaks than the previous day, but again, I think it’s because the muscles had not been worked very much so they’re getting used to being used again. I almost made it to the end of my workout and I was so proud that I was about to make it because there were many times I felt like just quitting. However, at the 12 minutes and 30 second mark the left wheel came off the track which promptly ended my workout for the day. But I still got most of it in and I did 0.86 miles before that happened. But it does mean I need to look for something else to do until we can figure out what to do with the elliptical so that it doesn’t do that.

Day 3 – Wednesday, February 10th

Today was a hard to get up and moving, partly because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get my workout in on the elliptical, and partly because I had tried following along with YouTube workout videos before and couldn’t make it all the way through. However, yesterday my mom told me to check out this one YouTube channel called The Body Coach TV, so I did and there are a variety of different videos to choose from. I personally wanted something that was low-impact and easy on my knees, and this particular video was perfect for my needs:

I’ll admit, that due to my current level of fitness, I did have to stop several times to just sit and drink some water. But this was one of the first YouTube workouts I’ve been able to get through the whole thing. Most of the exercises were easy, but still provided a great workout, I’ll admit that I was a puddle of sweat at the end. There were two exercise near the end I couldn’t do, the Superman squeeze and the walk down, press and stand up exercises. However, I just used a couple of the other exercises as a replacement during these sets. My plan is to keep doing this particular routine for a couple more weeks (hopefully until the elliptical is fixed) or until it becomes easy and I feel like I need some more variety.

Day 4 – Thursday, February 11th.

Starting late yesterday afternoon I could feel muscle pain in my thighs and upper arms, so that means that the workout I did yesterday did what it was supposed to be. When I woke up this morning, I could feel it a lot more in my thighs and lower back, and a small part of me thought I should take a rest day. However, I knew I would also be disappointed in myself if I did that, especially since the weekends are going to be my rest days. I will say that doing the HIIT workout was a lot harder today due to the muscles soreness, and I found myself having to take a lot more breaks just to kind of regroup and drink water. Also, my nose felt stuffy and dry so that also seemed to impact me a little bit. Again, I substituted the two exercises I can’t really do with other ones I can do. For the Superman Squeeze I did squats, and then for the last exercise I did the second exercise, which it probably one of my favorite ones from this routine. I think once I kind of get more in the habit of working out, I want to try and do this video – or one of the Body Coach’s others – at least two times a week in between using the elliptical because it works muscles that sometimes don’t get worked out on the elliptical. The elliptical is still out of commission right now, but that’s okay, it means I can work on getting better at doing this workout routine, which more me means not stopping the video at all.

Day 5 – Friday, February 12th

I had a lot more muscle pain today and even contemplated not working out at all. But again, I knew I needed to do it. It also helped knowing that I get to have a rest day tomorrow. I expected to have a harder time doing the exercise routine, but honestly, while some of the exercises were a little harder, I found I didn’t have to take as many breaks, which is a plus! We’ll see how I do on Monday after resting over the weekend.

Results from Week 1

It was a slow start, and while I did have some muscle pain, I will say that I also felt a lot more energized than I have in a while. I know the progress will be slow, but that’s okay, I just need to keep at it. I think I will have more to report after next week as to how I am seeing results.

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.


Redeeming Love is one of those books that I remember reading multiple times in high school. But I don’t think I’ve read it since then. I’ve been wanting to revisit it for a while, especially once I heard that there is a movie coming out this year. I finally got a chance to pick it up and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you.

Redeeming Love is an allegorical (I think) of the book of Hosea in the Bible. It is set during the Gold Rush in California and we are introduced to a young prostitute named Angel. All she has known is life in a brothel and has accepted that that is her life after her first attempt to escape from that life failed. One day, a young farmer, Michael Hosea, sees her in the streets and is told by God to marry her. He then tries to get to know her and try to convince her to leave her life at the brothel and marry him. She is then badly beaten by the brothel’s body guard and in order to save her life, Michael marries Angel and takes her back to his farm to nurse her back to health. Michael refuses to take advantage of Angel, determiend to prove to her that there are some good men in the world, however she constantly fights his love for her. She runs away to try and get her money back from the mistress of the brothel, but discovers that the building as burned down in a fire. She starts to go back to her old lifestyle, but Michael sweeps in a takes her back home. As she adjusts to life on the farm, she starts to change, however she ends up running away several more times, especially when she realizes that due to events in her past she probably can never give Michael children.

This summary does not give the book justice, I tried to do my best to summarize it without giving away too much.

While I write this review, I am still trying to figure out my thoughts and feelings about Redeeming Love. It should be noted, I don’t think this is a bad book, it is a very compelling read, especially when you read why Francine Rivers wrote this book. I think it’s hard for me to determine how I feel about this book has more to do with this fact that there are some really gritty and horrible things that happen in this book. I would definitely caution against reading this book if you have experienced some sort of sexual abuse in your past, unless it won’t trigger you. Even for others, I would caution against reading this if you are looking for something light and fluffy, this is defintely not that kind of read.

As I mentioned before, Redeeming Love is based on the book of Hosea, which is one of the minor prophetical books in the Bible. In Hosea, God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute (although there is some debate on whether she was a prostitute when he married or if that happened later one), who then runs away from him several times and has children that are from other men. God used this as an illustration to show how He loved the nation of Israel, but they kept turning their backs on Him and worshipping idols. This is just the Cliffnotes version, I encourage you to read the book of Hosea for yourself if you want to read more.

Francine Rivers did a good job of adapting this “story” (for lack of a better term, because it is something that did very much happen), especially with changing the time period it was set in and even the cast of characters. I felt like Michael Hosea was a great character, and he is definitely potrayed as someone who is both godly and flawed. Then there is Angel, who when we first meet her as an adult she is definitely hardened from the life she had been forced to live, but over time we see how love, and the Lord, can help soften a heart of stone. Then there is Michael’s brother-in-law Paul, who is just awful until the last 50 pages…but then again, I felt it was a good depiction of those who claim to be righteous but are actually hypocrites, if you’ve read the book you know what I’m talking about.

There were some fantastic supporting characters in this book and they definitely helped make up the story.

Overall, while Redeeming Love is considered to be a favorite Christian fiction for many people, I just don’t know if it is one of my favorites any more. I don’t know if it is because I’ve matured since I read it back in high school, where I am in my life right now, or if it is just covers a heavy subject matter that I needed to be in the right mood to read. I don’t know. There wasn’t anything particularly bad about it and it was captivating enough to keep me reading, but I didn’t love it and I’m not quite sure what about it made me not love it, except the issues it covers. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo.

Somewhere Only We Know follows Lucky, a famous K-Pop star and Jack, an undercover tabloid photographer whose paths intersect one Friday night in the bustling city of Hong Kong. All Lucky wanted was a burger, however when she gets lost, Jack helps her out and takes care of her for the evening. When Lucky wakes up the next morning and realizes that she is far from her manager and security guard, she begs Jack to take her on an adventure around Hong Kong before she has to get back to her job. He obliges her and they have one day of adventure and romance in Hong Kong. But what happens when Lucky discovers that Jack is a photographer for the tabloids? And what happens when her management team finds her?

Somewhere Only We Know has been pitched a retelling of Roman Holiday, except it is set in Hong King and it follows a K-Pop Star and a tablorid reporter. From the moment that Jack and Lucky met, I could already see the different elements from the movie at play.

A theme that is prominent in the novel is that of identity. Both characters are Korean-American, but both initially felt out of place in Korea (for Lucky this lasted until she was able to pick up her mother tongue.) and Hong Kong, especially for Jack who has lived there for a couple of years but he feels more American and out of place than anything. Another way that identity and image are important themes to the story because both characters are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be. Jack is trying to figure out whathe wants to do with his life, besides photography because he is pretty sure his parents would not approve. Lucky wants to find the joy in music and performing that led her to become a K-Pop sensation instead of the image her record abel wants her to put forth.

One quote that stuck out to me while reading the book was the following, considering that when Jack and Lucky meet each other they both lie about who they really are, “Here’s the thing with good lying: You don’t take risks by getting bogged down with details, making things complicated, and tying yourself up in some web of deception. You selectively tell truths Then when you’re saying what you’re saying, you exhibit the real signs of truthiness” (115).

It was also interesting to learn about the strict world of K-Pop and how restrictive it can be, from dating to diets, and how much of it is putting forth a persona that fans will love and adore.

In some ways this is a coming-of-age story for both characters, even though it does take place over 24 hours. It also explores how even when it feels like they have already messed up the characters can’t do anything to change the course of their lives, but they can. One quote that explores this minor theme states, “‘Human beings are messed up. But we are not beyong fixing'”(188).

The only thing that I didn’t really like was that there is instalover between the two main characters and it was kind of cringey. I did enjoy the ending abd watching both the characters frow and pursue their dreams, or rather pursuethe life they wanted at the start of the novel.

Overall, it was an interesting read, but I strongly disliked the instalove that takes place. It was a fun read, but also not really anything very special about it. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.